So where are we? I say, same place as always. The party is top down, disinterested - for good or ill - in the base. Not too interested in the country under the Bush regime either, is my take.
And I believe in hard fought primaries... bare knuckle. I want survivors. Or I did, once. I personally believe we are post-collapse. Of the Democratic party, that is. It heaves and thrashes... about it. Last throes. You know how it is, takes a while.
I hope no one took ''Fighting Dems'' too seriously. Roll Call (subscription wall), in their round up of the Hackett walk, push, shove, mutual loss of love, whatever it really was or is!, makes the point, a Fighting Dem is of use til he or she is not. This is not news. Count out Ashe, Lentz (a Vice Adm. stepped in there) and no doubt a few more to come...
Just last weekend Iraq war veteran and attorney David Ashe (D) dropped his campaign for a rematch with freshman Rep. Thelma Drake (R) in Virginiaâ€™s 2nd district. Ashe garnered 45 percent of the vote against Drake in 2004, in a late-developing open-seat race sparked by the last-minute retirement of then-Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.).
According to a local newspaper report, Asheâ€™s decision was based primarily on the fact that he has been offered a position in the new administration of Gov. Tim Kaine (D). [...] his move clears the field for Virginia Beach Commissioner of Revenue Phillip Kellam (D), who had been viewed as party insidersâ€™ preferred nominee. Kellam is a political legacy whose family is well known in the Tidewater area.
Meanwhile, in New Yorkâ€™s 29th district, it briefly appeared this week as if retired Navy commander Eric Massa (D) might be getting pushed aside within the Democratic establishment in favor of a self-funding candidate in the race against freshman Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-N.Y.).
On Monday, Democratic officials released a news release from businessman David Nachbar in which he announced that he would challenge Massa for the nomination.
Privately, Democratic Congressional leaders had high hopes for Nachbar ... who was expected to pour at least $100,000 of his own money into the race. But problems with his candidacy became immediately apparent Tuesday morning. [laugh now]
Nachbar is an unaffiliated voter, not a registered Democrat, meaning he would have to go through extraordinary measures to get on the Sept. 12 primary ballot â€” an effort that would have been complicated by the fact that seven of the eight county Democratic chairmen in the expansive 29th district had already endorsed Massa.
[keep laughing, Massa was a Republican til sometime last year]
A high-ranking New York Democratic official who did not want to be named said state party leaders were huddling with lawyers Tuesday afternoon to determine whether the county chairmen had the ability to put Nachbar on the ballot â€” a scenario that would have worked to Massaâ€™s advantage â€” or whether the full Democratic committees in each county had the responsibility to determine whether he could compete.
But the fact-finding would prove to be moot. Nachbar said Tuesday night that he would not run because he did not want to be â€œa divisive force.â€?
[leave "divisive" to the party leaders]
Quite a few round up pieces out there on the Hackett withdrawal.
Cilliza in the Wapo, Robert Parry's Consortium News (broad based round up) and The Washington Note - Clemons is on point with what is required of insurgency inside the party:
Furthermore, to win this battle for control -- some candidates, like Hackett, will have to vigorously run until the end, even if their candidacy looks doomed, or cash-strapped. It is certainly true that a slug-fest between Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett may have harmed the Democratic Party -- and may even help Mike DeWine -- but to win a seat at the table and to chair the meeting when decisions are being made, the insurgent Dems will have to line up behind a number of candidates willing to go all the way. [...]
A successful insurgency won't care what Emanuel does. The insurgents will see victory behind both short-term defeats and short-term wins. Hackett needed to go all of the way -- win or lose -- to give the insurgents validation and strength in the Democratic Party.
Dem insurgents also over-invested in Hackett without lining up the rest of the insurgent candidacies. There are some out there, of course, but not enough. Hackett became the face of their overall campaign which I believe was a mistake.
From the Curry piece (cue Blogger Boyz):
'Brown better win this'
â€œI just have one thing to say right now: Sherrod Brown better win this,â€? said Democratic blogger â€œAdam Bâ€? on the Daily Kos web site. â€œI hope that once Hackett's many supporters get over this disappointment, we can all work together this fall to make it happen. At the end of the day, Chuck Schumer's not the enemy -- Mike DeWine is, as is every other Republican who stands between us and control of the Senate.â€?
oh but ''Adam B'' is part and parcel of the Casey push in PA... goose - gander? Fillies and foals, stem cells and abortion, when DOES life begin in the Democratic party?
I ask you!!
Casey and the Democratic party - and abortion? NO squeeze there? hmmm?
Heck! Back to another blogger boy:
But blogger Bob Brigham, who played a role in Hackettâ€™s House race, had a scathing and obscene reaction.
â€œSchumer has now ***** up beyond all recognition the primaries in both Pennsylvania and Ohio,â€? Brigham said in an e-mail distributed Tuesday morning. He called Schumer â€œa complete ******* fool.â€?
Cool rag for the fevered brow. Now now. This all smacks of Chinese Opera. Much doings on stage. But the audience, in my experience, comes and goes thru the perfomance. They eat, visit, chat, gossip and look up from time to time. The stories are known.
The Democratic Party, it's not "Chinatown" but it is Chinese Opera. And the crowd of 7, 8 or 9, the bloggers who are tightly linked together, are so tied into the party or factions or offshoots or dependants or aides or or or or each other! The incestuous amplification is ... repetitious.
The close of Curry's piece for MSNBC:
Assessing bloggers' importance
The negative reaction to Hackettâ€™s exit â€œwill certainly pass, it may even pass before the next news cycle,â€? remarked Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the non-partisan Cook Political Report.
â€œHackett is the kind of candidate who illustrates that the blogs are loud, but not necessarily representative,â€? she added. â€œIn this election cycle in particular, people are watching blogs and assigning them enormous importance that isnâ€™t necessarily warranted.â€?
The Hackett episode showed that party leaders had decided it was worth risking the wrath of pro-Hackett bloggers in order to get the candidate they judged to be the stronger one.
Jim Dean, brother of Howard and now head of DFA
weighed in (click if you want the commentary about Hackett, I am for bigger game):
Today that baby-sitting job got a lot tougher.
Even after 15 years of losing, too much of our leadership continues to waste valuable time and donors' hard earned money trying to maintain a party machine in second place.
They do this by trying to bring new and exciting ideas to heal for the sake of their own second place status, because to them second place in DC is better than fighting for our country, our values and our party.
By late afternoon, Hackett had cooled a bit and voiced support for Sherrod Brown (whose people had worked his summer House campaign against Schmidt, one thing about politics, hand washing, back scratching, back and forth, back and forth... that ceaseless motion... LOL).
Later, Howard popped up, speaking to HS students in FL:
Dean told a student audience in Miami that "some skulduggery in Washington" improperly led to Hackett's decision to end his bid. And he said Democrats will have a tough time winning if similar things happen to others.
Skullduggery? Oh to be sure... and Howard would know. Osama and the Democratic 527. But to Howard I would say: Pennsylvania. Casey.
There is ''skullduggery'' to spare.
A last few words for Howard, his inspired stump from February/March of 2003. Truly, he has forgotten:
I want my country back. We want our country back.
I am tired of being divided.
I don't want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore. I want America to look like America.
Where we are all included, hand in hand, walking down. We have dream. We can only reach the dream if we are all together â€“ black and white, gay and straight, man and woman. America. The Democratic Party. We are going to win in 2004.
Thank you very, very much. Thank you very, very much.
Stand up for America, Stand up for America, Stand up for America.